Losing Calories So That Others Can Gain Them” – Innovative Fundraising 101


posted by Pat O’Brien

When an organization, such as Wuqu’ Kawoq, begins to effectively address problems as big and basic as the clean drinking water, child malnutrition and primary healthcare issues are in Guatemala, the requests for its assistance and expertise grows rapidly. Of course, with this kind of growth in services there has to be at least an equal increase in funding.

Fundraising is not often viewed as terribly glamorous, as the spot light is usually trained on the projects and people on the ground (as it should be). And, funding dollars are seldom easy to obtain….there is a lot of competition out there for each and every one. Nevertheless, successful fundraising is very rewarding (no pun intended). If we look around and keep ears open, there is a good chance that there is someone we know that is quietly looking for a good cause to support.

A case in point happened this past February when I overheard a fellow Rotarian mention he was looking for a worthy organization to help out. His name is Scott McDermott of Sylvan Lake in Alberta, Canada, owner of a very successful gym, Best Body Fitness.

Scott is always looking for ways to inspire health and fitness with his clients and is equally passionate about helping the less fortunate in the global community. So, Scott came up with a plan to challenge his members to record all the calories they burned off in the gym, during a one week period. At the end of the challenge, Scott would tally up the calories lost and donate one cent per calorie to a needy cause.

The timing couldn’t be better! I told Scott about WK’s Child Malnutrition Project in Socorro and he immediately said that he would be happy to direct the money to the project. The results were superb! There were 146,350 lost calories recorded, resulting in a $1463.50 for Wuqu’ Kawoq, so that the children of Socorro would have a better chance to gain calories. To make the donation even more effective, Scott made the donation on March 16th through the Global Giving Matching event, which meant the donation grew by another 30%! A great big thank you to Scott and his supporters!

Do you belong to a gym that might want to adopt this sort of fundraiser? How about other ideas that would appeal to a corporate sponsor and their employees or patrons? Approaching fundraising from a unique angle can perhaps draw in a bigger crowd and hopefully more funding for even greater expansion of our programs and projects. If you have a fundraising idea you need help with, let us know. We can assist with information and support material to make your event a great success!